While the new Halloween is very much a sequel instead of a reboot, it also has a unique approach to the franchise's continuity. Specifically, with the exception of John Carpenter's original, it completely ignores everything. This includes what was previously the strongest continuation in the series -- Rick Rosenthal's Halloween II -- and director David Gordon Green recently revealed why it had to go:
I hung on tight to Halloween II for a while, and [Danny] McBride was always trying to get me to let it go. And then when we were talking kind of ultimately about the path, and once we got actually into the writing itself, we were just thinking it's scarier if it's random.
The Los Angeles press day for Halloween was held last month, and it was during a roundtable interview with David Gordon Green that he explained the approach he took to the continuity when putting together the script with co-writer Danny McBride. He really wanted there to be a way for their movie to include the events of Halloween II, but there was one key obstacle that made it impossible: the twist that reveals Laurie Strode is Michael Myers' sister.
Continuing his thought, David Gordon Green explained that the ultimate decision came down to the development of what would become one of the best sequences in the movie. As he arrives in Haddonfield and starts his killing spree, the camera follows Michael Myers in a continuous shot that tracks him murdering people in two different houses. It was when they were putting the whole thing that Green realized it just wouldn't mesh with the revelations of Halloween II:
Our collaborator, Jeff Bradley, wrote the sequence where Michael goes door to door, and had just this thing in his head of this whole one shot thing, and then we're like, 'Oh yeah!' And then when I read that I was like, 'Okay, but that only works if he's not just trying to kill his sister, you know?' And so that, that was a pivotal scene for me, not only just in the effort that we had in production trying to rehearse it and get it right, but also in terms of accepting that I was going to have to say goodbye to a movie that really liked.
In Halloween II, events pick up right where John Carpenter's film left off, with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) being taken to the local hospital to be treated for her injuries. Unfortunately for her, Michael Myers successfully evades death/capture, and continues hunting for her -- which it turns out is because they are related. The new Halloween makes a bit of a joke about it, saying the brother-sister relationship is "something people made up," and definitely doesn't maintain it in continuity.
David Gordon Green made it clear he is a fan of Halloween II, but wrapped his comments on the matter explaining that it very much was the right decision in the end. Not only did it give them more freedom in the writing process, but it allowed them to also liberate Michael. Said the director,
They were right. I mean, it totally liberates you from the burden. It enhances the randomness and the horror of it, because if he's just on an agenda... I'd much rather him get out of the cage, and he's just doing what he does. And then there's the, 'Don't forget about me. I'm over here.' I like that, where the victim can kind of turn the tables.